How to Patch a Damaged Carpet
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How to Patch a Damaged Carpet

How to repair a piece of damaged carpeting using a repair kit with a plug cutter and adhesive disks.

Most do it yourselfers hit a roadblock when it comes to vinyl and carpet repairs. Carpeting requires a few specialized tools and a lot of practice to produce a quality finished result. Luckily there is a tool available and repair kits that will help a homeowner repair a damaged spot of carpeting caused by cigarette burns, tears, or damage from pets.

The carpet repair kit can be found at flooring distributors and online and it is sometimes referred to as the “plug” method for carpet repairs. The kit includes a circular carpet cutter and adhesive disks to glue the patch in place. The cutter slices out the damaged section and an identically sized replacement patch. If you don't have any leftover remnants of carpet lying around you can take a patch from the back of a closet, a hidden corner of a room, or under furniture that's rarely moved.

Keep in mind that this type of patching technique works best on plush, tufted pile with no patterns that require matching. Berber will not look good using this type of kit.

Tools and Materials

Flex Action Roller or Stared Carpet Seam Roller

Carpet repair kit



Carpet Seam Glue

Star Carpet Seam Roller

Carpet Cutter

The repair kit comes with a 3 1/8” cookie-cutter, circular insta-hold disks. You can usually find a kit for less than $20. The roller for another $15 to $20.

Insta-Hold Disks


1. Locate the Damage and Patch

Rub your hand over the carpet surrounding the damaged section, and note which direction makes the carpet fibers stand up. Place the cutter, without blades, over the damaged area, and make three clockwise turns to push aside a ring of carpet fibers and expose the backing. Repeat these steps, including the rubbing, in the area where you'll be extracting the patch.

2. Preparing the Cutter

Screw on the cutter blades so to the side of the cutter. Attach the pivot screw so that it protrudes from the cutter as far as the blades.

3. Cutting

Line up the cutter with the circular impression made in Step 1. Push down until the pivot screw punches through the carpet backing. Rotate the cutter two or three turns with firm, even pressure. Be careful not to slice through the padding that supports the patch. Pull the carpet on the outside of the cutter to determine if it is free. Remove the damaged piece, then use the same method to cut out the replacement patch. You should use a pencil to draw an arrow on the back of the patch pointing in the direction you rubbed the fibers to make them stand up.

4. Inserting the Adhesive Backing

Remove the protective backing from the adhesive disk, and dampen the disk with water to prevent the glue from adhering to the carpet while you set it in place. The disk is slightly larger than the patch, so open the slit in the disk and slide its edge under the carpet between the backing and the padding. When the adhesive becomes tacky, in about 3 to 5 minutes, press down on the carpet around the disk's edge. It you run out of disks, you can use adhesive carpet backing tape.

5. Installing the patch

Remove any loose carpet fibers around the edge of the hole and the surrounding carpet. Apply a narrow bead of carpet seam glue along the perimeter of the cutout. Align the arrow on the patch with the direction of the fibers in the rest of the carpet, and stick the patch down firmly onto the disk. The glue will set in about 15 to 20 minutes.

6. Blending the Patch

Use the star roller and press down firmly as you steer it around the perimeter of the patch a few times. Push the roller over the patch from different directions until the seam disappears. Let the adhesive cure for 24 hours before you vacuum or walk on the patch.

The patch may still be visible after the repair but it should become less apparent as the area is vacuumed and walked on.

This type of repair can be done on glue down installations, but the pivot screw may not be able to pierce the carpet backing completely.

Additional resources:

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Comments (2)

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